In February, third-time mom-to-be Jenna Bush Hager was announced as the new co-host for the 10 o'clock hour of the Today show, alongside Hoda Kotb

By Charlotte Triggs Helen Murphy
May 02, 2019 10:00 AM

Jenna Bush Hager has had at least two major life milestones this year already: She was named as the new co-host for Today‘s fourth hour, and she found out she was “very pregnant” with her third child.

“Is the timing ideal? Not really. We are launching something new and I’ll be taking maternity leave this fall. But it’s not about that,” Bush Hager, 37, tells PEOPLE of her pregnancy and new job.

But she also says her coworkers have been nothing but supportive to her and her new co-host, Hoda Kotb, who recently welcomed daughter Hope Catherine via adoption on April 12.

“There was no hesitation when I told anybody at work. It is a beautiful journey for you and your family. And I know they feel the same way for Hoda,” Bush Hager continues in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager
Nathan Congleton/NBC

RELATED: Pregnant Jenna Bush Hager Opens Up About Feeling Guilt Over “Unexpected” Third Baby on the Way

Bush Hager announced her own pregnancy on April 22, six days after Kotb revealed she had adopted her new bundle of joy. The Today host will welcome a son to her family that also includes daughters Poppy Louise, 3½, and Margaret “Mila” Laura, 6.

“These decisions about expanding our families are personal … our work is wonderful and I’m thrilled with how our show is going. But it’s really forward thinking,” Bush Hager tells PEOPLE.

“And the fact that Hoda and I get to start this journey together [with babies] who will be months apart and we get to do the show together,” she continues, “we are creating these new things together. New lives, and a new show as a team.”

Jenna Bush Hager with her family
Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram

RELATED VIDEO:  Al Roker Meets Hoda Kotb’s New Daughter and Calls Her “The Reason I Can’t Stop Smiling”

While the former first daughter celebrated her pregnancy, she also put positive thoughts into the universe for a sibling for her friend Kotb’s 2-year-old daughter Haley Joy.

“I am pregnant and it was unexpected,” says Bush Hager, adding of herself and husband Henry Hager, “We really hadn’t planned to even have a third baby and it feels like this blessing that I hadn’t even asked for.”

“But at the same time I was starting a show with someone I so admire, and someone I knew wanted to expand her family,” she adds to PEOPLE.

Hoda Kotb covers PEOPLE with daughters Hope and Haley
Brian Doben

RELATED: Hoda Kotb Opens Up About Adjusting to Life as a Mom of Two: “In a Blink, Life Changes”

In response, Kotb, 54, tells PEOPLE that Bush Hager is “one of the most empathetic people I’ve ever met.”

“[It] made my heart hurt that she felt bad, but also, it made me love her so much more,” the Today co-host shares. “On your best day, somehow you’re worried about how I’m feeling.”

She adds, “I think babies come when they’re supposed to come. I think your heart has to be open, so when Jenna was telling me that, I was thinking to myself, ‘My time’s coming too.’ I feel everything happens right on time.”

For more from Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Advertisement


EDIT POST